29 Mar 2006
Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Monnaie, Théâtre National, Brussels
Raphaela Papadakis seems to like ‘playing with fire’. After her acclaimed performance as the put-upon maid, Anna, in Independent Opera’s production of Šimon Voseček’s Beidermann and the Arsonists at Sadler’s Wells last year, she is currently rehearsing for the premiere this week of And London Burned, a new opera by Matt Rogers which has been commissioned by Temple Music Foundation to commemorate the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London.
Shirley Apthorp [Financial Times, 29 March 2006]
Thirty-four years before Rossini wrote his Barber of Seville, Paisiello penned a sanitised version of Beaumarchais’ play for the court of St Petersburg. Charming, direct and uncontroversial, his opera was so popular that Rossini initially chose a different title (Almaviva, ossia l’inutile precauzione), fearing to be overshadowed.